Join our international team in the beautiful city of Cape Town to volunteer at an overcrowded, under-resourced school in a friendly and welcoming township just outside of the city.
As a volunteer on this project you will become involved in teaching primary school children. A number of children struggle to understand their teachers because English is not their home language and as a result they fall behind their peers in their studies. By running dedicated one-on-one lessons, you will help them achieve improved results in literacy and numeracy. You will also run arts, sports and childcare projects for younger children.
Through your individual attention and dedicated work, students should be more confident and comfortable once they return to their classrooms and you should be able to see a measurable improvement in their abilities.
Volunteer are based in an attractive coastal village close to Cape Town with direct exposure to local culture and communities. Optional side trips are available to Table Mountain, Robben Island, wildlife safaris, wine tasting in Stellenbosh and much more. For those travelling onwards there is easy access to the Garden Route and cheap domestic flights to Kruger National park from Cape Town.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This project offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the project for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
Life on the Program
Along with the other teaching volunteers, you will travel by minibus from your accommodation to the township school. Monday through to Friday, you will typically be on the project from around 9am to 4pm with an hour break for lunch. You will spend most mornings running tutoring sessions for individual students, while afternoons will be spent conducting homework and reading workshops for small groups of students. After school, you are expected to spend some time planning and preparing your lessons and activities for the following day.
GVI staff will provide comprehensive training to all volunteers covering classroom management, lesson planning, curriculum, a local language lesson, township life and other useful information.
Accommodation is in modern apartments with shared rooms and bathrooms and access to hot running water and electricity.
Weekends are free for you to discover the local area, or simply relax. Optional side trips allow you to explore this breathtakingly beautiful part of the world on the safari day trip and experience the best that Cape Town has to offer on the Cape Town cultural weekend.
The children assigned to the program have been identified by their teachers as needing extra tuition. Through your lessons you will aim to improve literacy, numeracy, English language skills and confidence levels.
The students enjoy reading stories and playing educational games during their sessions. Your sessions will also provide an important opportunity for the students to ask any questions they may have and get the individual attention their normal teachers cannot provide and which they need to succeed. Resources, materials, games and the curriculum will be provided to help you prepare your lessons.
You should typically work with the same small group of students in your one-on-one’s each day for 30 minute sessions, then several more in the reading focus and afternoon workshop sessions, allowing you to follow the growth in individual students’ abilities.
How this project makes a difference:
Many of the primary schools in townships are severely overcrowded with over 50 students per class meaning that teachers are unable to give each child individual attention to help them develop and grow. GVI has designed a project providing individual coaching sessions to those children that have difficulties reading and writing.
My volunteer experience with GVI in South Africa was wonderful. South Africa is the most beautiful place I have ever been to and I was shocked by how nice the accommodations were. I...
My volunteer experience with GVI in South Africa was wonderful. South Africa is the most beautiful place I have ever been to and I was shocked by how nice the accommodations were. I really enjoyed that fact that GVI set up weekend excursions so that the volunteers could really see South Africa and learn about its rich culture and history. Standing on top of Table Mountain was truly one of the most breath taking experiences of my life!
As exciting as exploring Cape Town was, the best part of my trip was getting to spend time with the children at both the school and the orphanage. They were wonderful, smart, funny, playful and really excited to learn. They made me laugh and also taught me about resilience. Seeing the bright spirits of children who by most people’s standards don’t have much made me realize that I often take what I have for granted. I can’t wait to go back!
My time on the project was wonderful! The country of South Africa is absolutely beautiful and the GVI staff was knowledgeable and supportive. I would highly recommend GVI for anyone thinking about volunteering abroad. I have volunteered overseas twice and noticed a big difference between the first groups I went with and GVI. GVI was organized, easy to get a hold of, and truly involved in the communities they serve.
I can definitely say this project has exceeded my expectations in many ways. There have been so many highlights! When students walk out of the room smiling, the sense of achievement and reward it gives has been incredible. The coordinators are encouraging and are always on hand when needed. With workshops, focus groups and structured reading, there is never a dull moment. I would recommend this project to anyone; it has been an unforgettable experience and one I will always cherish.
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
- Airport transfers (before 10pm on scheduled days only)
- Daily transport to and from project sites
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes